London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea secured dominant wins in the Europa League over Vorskla Poltava and PAOK Salonika on Thursday.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery preferred to give the youngsters a chance in the match and they didn’t disappoint with Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock finding the net with impressive performances behind them. Senior pro-Aaron Ramsey netted the other goal from the spot as they went ahead 3-0 before half-time.
This dominant win put them right at the top of Group E.
Also, it is now assured that Emery’s men would now avoid facing any of the clubs that are eliminated from the Champions League for the next draw. They are better-placed in terms of head-to-head record with Sporting Lisbon, who are currently in the second position.
Chelsea, on the other hand, bounced back strongly from their shocking 1-3 loss at the hands of Tottenham Hotspurs in the Premier League to return back to thump PAOK Salonika 4-0. French striker Olivier Giroud scored a brace in the first-half to hand his side a two-goal advantage before Calum Hudson-Odoi and Alvaro Morata inflicted more punishment on the Greek club.
“The main target was to win, we needed a strong team reaction and we did it well tonight,” Giroud, who won the World Cup with France earlier this year, said.
“I am really happy with the team spirit and we can move forward now and start some new momentum,” he added.
The Frenchman was the only scorer for his club in the loss to Spurs and now, he found the back of the net twice, making it three goals in two games for the Blues.
“I’ve scored goals in the past but it’s true that I was waiting for more chances,” he said.
“You need a bit of luck in front of goal. I had a good assist from my team-mates love this kind of ball behind the defence.
“Four goals plus a clean sheet, a good night for us. When the manager starts me I try to give my best, do my part,” he added.
Image credit- Evening Standard